Stop us if you’ve heard this before, but the Sunshine City is yet again receiving accolades and attention from major publications. Forbes this week unveiled its annual list of the best places to travel in America, and St. Pete was one of 20 destinations to make the cut.
The distinction puts our city on the same prestigious list as locales such as Puerto Rico, Portland (both Maine AND Oregon, it turns out), Niagara Falls, Savannah and Vail, Colorado. St. Pete was one of two Florida destinations to make the cut, with the panhandles Destin-Fort Walton Beach area also making the cut.
Editors gave St. Pete praise for its arts scene, LGBTQ+ friendly environment, and nightlife, while recognizing the rarity of a walkable (and waterfront) city also located right next to the beach. Terry Ward wrote the city’s review, giving the city glowing praise from the Florida-based travel writer whose work appears in CNN, National Geographic, Lonely Planet and the Washington Post, among many other outlets.
“St. Pete presents one of Florida’s best mixes of a cool and lively urban downtown with beautiful beaches right nearby,” says Terry Ward. “The town is known for its art scene—from the murals everywhere to Salvador Dali and Renaissance masterworks in museums—but it remains delightfully casual and approachable at every level, too.
“With 35 miles of uninterrupted coastline including some of Florida’s top-rated beaches and a booming arts and culture scene, it’s no surprise that St. Pete is popping on travelers’ radars. The Dalí Museum continues to offer unique and innovative exhibits that explore multi-sensory, immersive experiences for all types of travelers and is a must visit when in the destination.
Also appealing: “It’s an LGBTQ+ haven and home to the state’s largest Pride parade every year,” says Ward. “And the new St. Pete Pier has become a center for gathering all year round, whether at a pop-up roller rink, among the pelicans and anglers casting out line at its tip or while enjoying sprawling views of downtown and Tampa Bay from a rooftop Tiki bar washed with salty breezes.
“And when it comes to soaking in St. Pete’s annual 361 days of sunshine, it doesn’t always happen at the beach. This year the 75-mile Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail Loop is being completed with a 6.7-mile addition. The multi-use pathway stretches from Tarpon Springs to St. Pete with connections to coastal communities along the way, making it a great way to explore the area.”
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